(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Seems Australia’s culture warriors might have missed their chance. As the media reporting has it, Australians have already moved Australia Day on from its 30-year-long moment of celebration of European settlement into a deeper recognition of the country. 

The moment the date marks -- the hoisting of the British flag on Gadigal land to assert the beginnings of colonisation in 1788 -- went all but unremarked in the pre-date debate about what the day meant, or could mean. More, much of that discussion came from Aboriginal voices who’ve led the resistance to the co-option of the date in the service of an exclusionary settler nationalism.

Perhaps it’s laid a template for the media, too, to move on from a narrow “change the date” controversy into deeper reflection. Take Wesley Enoch’s commentary in the Nine mastheads for the day “to stand as a spur to discuss our history and remember the trials and tribulations of Indigenous Australia.” Or Megan Davis quoted in The Australian: “We don’t need to change the date, but the Uluru Statement can change the nation.” As IndigenousX’s Luke Pearson has been saying over the past few Australia Days: don’t change the date, change the nation.